Explorer Ship Missing Since 1845 Found in Arctic
Vessel that vanished during Franklin Expedition is in Northwest Passage: Canada
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2014 1:19 PM CDT
In this photo released by the National Archives of Canada, skulls of members of the Franklin Expedition are shown.   (AP Photo/National Archives of Canada via The Canadian Press)

(Newser) – In 1845, British explorer Sir John Franklin set off with 128 men on the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus to explore the Arctic's Northwest Passage. Both ships apparently got stuck in the ice and then vanished, earning their place in the annals of Canada's greatest adventure mysteries—until today, when Canadian PM Stephen Harper announced one of the ships has been found, the BBC reports. A remote-controlled underwater rover discovered the ship, which Harper notes is in "good condition," on Sunday in the Victoria Strait, reports the Toronto Star.

Harper and Parks Canada officials who spearheaded the search say that sonar imagery shows intact deck structures, and they believe "contents of the ship are likely well-preserved," notes the Star. They're still not sure which of the two ships it is. Parks Canada has conducted six major scours of the seas since 2008, hoping to find the missing legends, but it credits cutting-edge technology with finally helping searchers to make this breakthrough. "This is truly a historic moment for Canada," Harper said in a statement cited in the Star. Meanwhile, CNN reports that a cruise ship will be following in Franklin's footsteps in 2016. (Read the fascinating account in the Star detailing how the ship was found.)